Monthly Archives: April 2008

The good and the bad

Today has been a mixed day.

I had an interview this afternoon for a local sessional play ranger job, I applied for it last month and I’ve been really hope I’d get it. It sounds like a great project to be involved with and is only just starting in the area. I got the job!

My birthday pressie from Rhys also arrived, a laptop, so I can now start writing sat on my bed which is where I do my best thinking. Having things on computer might mean that I finally do something with ‘it’ (short stories, etc.) instead of just having it all in different note pads.

This evening I found my youngest sisters cat, she’d been missing for a few weeks and we’d all been hoping that she would just turn up but she was under my bed dead, which has put a nasty tint on things this evening. Poot wasn’t our oldest cat but she must have been 12 years old now, it is better to know what has happened then not though.

Colony Collapse Disorder

The link below is a petion for some funds to be ‘issued’ for research into this, I don’t really have a great understanding of what colony collapse disorder is (maybe because there hasn’t been enough research into it) but like I said in an earlier post, a world without bees… ?

Bee Research

Never a simple job

A while ago Muma found some information about the feed value of gorse, and from talking to the local sheep-badgers (people who run free-roaming sheep in the area) it use to be used a lot in the area. The Badgers would collected it and then put it through a stredder and use it as feed for the sheep who will only eat the flowers if just left to it.

We’ve been meaning to try it out with the goats for a while, as the whole area is covered in it, and this weekend we finally got round to it. Me and Rhys (well Rhys really, but under orders from me) dug out the shredder and checked that it was in working order. On Saturday me and Muma collected a couple of small sacks on the way back from dropping Rhys off for a gig, got the shedder out and… the blades weren’t going round.

I hate it when things don’t work, it just makes what should be such simple jobs take so much more time and effort than they should be. In the end the goats got feed the gorse like it was, and they ate most of it ok.

Sunday: Rhys fixed the shredder, which had stringy branchs wrapped round the blades, went and collected more gorse and shredded it (only stopping once to have the blades un-wrapped again.)

The goats seemed to like it too.

Hedgerow pickings

We haven’t really got anything in the garden to eat now, so on Sunday we went and found what we could in the lanes and hedgerows:


Wild Garlic


Jack in the Hedge

 And Chard from the garden. We also collected nettles for dying some wool.


My youngest house of quail have started to lay, I’ve had four in the past three days. The second days egg was another big one (pictured second from right) it was boiled and pickled last night.

Yesterday I moved Button in with Mr. & Mrs. Quail as they’re the same type, they had a few scraps to begin with but seem to be getting on ok now. Quail are very nasty birds to each other and so you have to be extra careful when putting new birds together for the first time, as they’re very likely to kill each other, but all has gone well and they were moved in to a house that was new for all of them.

Giving up added sugar

In the Christmas break I started reading Diet for a Small Island by Patrick and Shirley Rivers, it has since been added to my pile of ‘reading’ books but it is really interesting (even though it is a little out of date now), one of the parts in there is about sugar. I have known for a while the ill effects (or should that be affects?) sugar has/can have on your health, and also that the sugar industry isn’t a nice place.

Any way, re-reading about it prompted me to try giving it up, not completely give it up as sugar is in far too many foods I like but give up things like tea with sugar in, etc. and I did really well for a couple of weeks, I replaced sugar in tea with honey and asked Rhys to try buying me fruit instead of sweets or chocolate bars that he often buys me.

Somewhere in the last month I’ve forgotten about it, and started having sugar in my tea again. I will start again, as I’m sure it was making me feel better

Murphy’s laws

There was a power cut earlier today, no-one had electric for miles around it seems. I didn’t know anything about it until I got home from work. Normally power cuts don’t bother us, we have a bottled gas (like we would get mains gas in our area, the village isn’t even on a mains sewage system) cooker and most of the heat from wood burning stoves.

When I was little I use to look forward to power cuts, with everyone sitting in the living room together and chips for dinner… but that is completely changed when you have eggs in an incubator. I don’t have time to set anymore eggs as I’ve agreed to loan out the incubator at the start of May so I just have to hope that everything will be OK and at least some will hatch.

Down Shifting Week

This week is Down Shifting Week, I guess I’ve already taken part as I’ve planted some veg seed this week, the website is quite interesting. 

When the real work begins

Last night I came home from work cut work for the stove, cleaned out half a goat house that was deep bedded over the winter, feed everyone (animals not people), had a talking to the house of quail who haven’t started laying yet, added the two new pages on here, designed a flyer for a gig Rhys and a friend have booked, hard boiled and started pickling the build up of quail eggs, watered the seedlings and made lunch for today. I got some much more done with the three hours that I had after work than the seven hours at work, or that’s what it feels like. This evening hasn’t been much different.

On Friday I started eight, well seven, of Mr. & Mrs Quails eggs to hatch. On Saturday I added the egg that Mrs. Quail had laid, eight is a good round number of chicks to have, but had to stop myself doing the same on Sunday. They should hatch over May Day bank holiday, all of my hatchings seem to fall on bank or school holidays. Friday night I also started of a load of seedlings, mostly salad mixs. It was a very nice way to spend the evening, sitting on the bed spooning compost into paper pots and adding seeds (Rhys was out which is how I got away with sitting on the bed with a load of ‘mud’)

It rained all Saturday and Sunday, so other than the normal jobs I spent most of the time reading or pottering. I’d done my normal thing with reading and instead of with the book I’ve already start I picked up a book of short stories. So that’s three books I’ve started this year and not finished.

Niff has started to ‘bag-up’, infact I’ve seen goats kid with less of an udder, she’s not due for another six weeks and is still really tight round her back.

Sheep Shearing

I first read about this story on the river cottage forum, it’s just stupid, does ‘joe public’ honestly believe that sheep are happier carrying all that wool round with them all summer?

A sheep shearing competition that has been the centre of county life for years has been scrapped over concerns that the clippers may harm the sheep.

 Where as wales are trying to keep the skill going:

A new scheme aims to ensure the survival of the traditional skill of sheep shearing in Wales